I am cleaning up my studio, and throwing out a load of things... and coming across a lot of things. Here is a postcard I bought at the National Gallery in London when I was working on the LOVE IT AND LEAVE IT - Australia's Creative Diaspora series.
Self Portrait at the Age of 34, Rembrandt 1606-1669.
This painting was Rembrandt's call to give artists a greater status within his society. So, as I was working on EXACTLY the same theme, 3 1/2 centuries later... the image resonated like beautiful tibetan bells throughout my being.
The Scapegoat, 2004 Pekka Jylha (Finland) This postcard is from an exhibition in Paris at the Institut Finlandais in 2005. It was after a very rough period of my life: when my dad was dying of cancer, I seemed to fulfil the archetypal role of the emotional scapegoat ... so little goat and I found eachother. Thank GOODNESS times have moved on...
In 2006, I completed a short film (24 min) called où est passé le 14 juillet? (whatever happened to bastille day? : english title).
A quirky take on France, its national symbols and what they mean today.
The story starts in my mother's village in the LOT (France). I begin by asking why the village doesn't celebrate France's national day which marks the revolution: the 14th July (also known as Bastille day). And continue to look at the various symbols of France and question their meaning within their contemporary context.
The film was produced by le GREC http://www.grec-info.com. Paris based, GREC have been producing and distributing experimental films since the 1970s. For me, it meant that I could make the film with some structural backing + total creative freedom.
The film was written at the residence d'écriture at LUSSAS in Ardeche, a residency which specialises in writing documentary films. http://www.lussasdoc.com/
The film did the rounds at the festivals, won a prize at the festival international d'Aubagne and was screened at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. It continues to do the local outdoor screenings, a growing movement around france.
The news this week is that the film is being shown on Thursday 31 July (which happens to be my birthday) at the Mediatheque in Cahors, le Lot (the region it was filmed in!)...
... this is a first, in terms of the LOT region having a screening of the film... and the fact that this will take place on my birthday keeps the quirkiness of the film's spirit in full force!
so I'll take a big birthday cake to share with those who come to see the film...
for a dvd copy of the film, contact Marie-Anne diffusion(at)grec-info.com
Here are some portraits of the artisans from Tamil Nadu whom are making the copper layer of the Sripuram temple.
As I am editing the photos, I realised I forgot to get their names ! So I'll ask Sushumna (whom accompanied me on the shoot to go back and get them.
These are "safeguarders" (going along with my safeguarding theme) of the tradition of copper work with temple making. A knowledge system which has been passed from generation to generation in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The project of the Sripuram temple has given the village and its artisans (and introduced its youngest generation to the craft) 7 years of work as each day they have tap. tap. tap. tapped sheets of copper into shape and into what has become a wonderous work.
Being with these artisans felt like the clock had been turned back two centuries.
Except for the fact that, when I had finished photographing them, they asked if they could take a photo of Sushumna and I. "Of course!" I replied...
And they whipped out their mobile phones and zapped me back into 2008 in a jiffy.
Within a month I have photographed the process of how a custom-made Hermes bag is made and a south indian temple.... fascinating to be behind the scenes.
The Hermes bag was for the Australian Financial Review magazine and the temple is for a photo book on Sripuram, the golden temple in Tamil Nadu, South India inaugurated by Sakthi Amma last August.
Here is a lotus petal being made (the main tier of the temple is covered by a row of lotus petals this size).
These are images of the copper work (traditionally a temple was made of stone, and covered in copper before being covered in gold or silver... now the stone has been replaced by a concrete structure and the copper is done in the same manner as it has been for generations.)
The copper workers come from the same village in Tamil Nadu and the tradition has been passed from generation to generation.
The tap.tap.tap.tap.tap. of the hammers against the copper were both rhythmic and softly deafening to my little ears...
I felt like I had travelled back a few centuries with these copper workers, except for a few electrical tools, the whole copper casing of the temple is created by the hands of these men...(along with some divine intervention).
OU EST PASSE LE 14 JUILLET? is a short film I made in 2005, produced by le G.R.E.C. (Groupe de Recherches et d’Essais Cinématographiques : http://www.grec-info.com) looking at symbols of the French nation and how the meaning of these symbols have shifted within their contemporary context.
The vision is that of an Australian with a French mother/ British father and the starting point of the plot is the village where my mother presently lives in. To lighten the narrative, I chose the character of a detective to discover why the national day (14th July) was not celebrated in this little village in the south-west of France.
The film was screened at various festivals and also at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Sorry for those who don't speak french... there are no subtitles...
Here are pix by Jack Pam sent from the opening at the Australian Centre of Photography group show HIJACKED on June 16 in Sydney...
On right, Monsieur Max Pam le magnifique (who profoundly shifted and assisted in fine tuning the direction of my life and is a staunch supporter of the next generation of photographers) and Mark McPherson (looking mighty concentrated to the left)... talking, it seems to meeedia...
Mark and Max edited le book. Links for le book are (it's full o fabulous photography) :
On my first day back in Paris after a year's absence in Berlin, my lovely friend Pascale (who was in Paris writing her book) took me out for a day's adventure in the city, with the intention of "having a perfect day".
So we decided to re-discover the city and visit a place we had both never been to : the foundation LeCourbusier in the 16th arrondissement. We turned up and it happened to be the building's 40th birthday ! (And it is also the 40th anniversary of Pascale's family being expulsed from Paris in june 68 ...)
Found two chairs in conversation in the Tuilerie gardens.
Peonies, along with the lotus and magnolia flower... my favourites...